The Francesco Lanza Tradition

Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees

© 2021, by Daniel Pereira

Doctor of Musical Arts |


Abbado, Claudio

Italian (Milan, June 26, 1933 – Bologna, January 20, 2014)

Claudio Abbado was an Italian conductor. His father was the violinist Michelangelo Abbado. He studied piano with his father, then he entered the Milan Conservatory and continued his studies at the Vienna Music Academy. In 1958, he won the Koussevitzky Competition and, in 1963, the Mitropoulos Prize. In 1990, Abbado succeeded Karajan as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. After 2000, he was forced to curtail his engagements due to stomach cancer.


Abos, Girolamo

Maltese (Valetta, November 16, 1715 — Naples, October 1760)

Of French descent, he studied at the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù in Naples under Greco, Durante and Ferrara. Subsequently, he taught there and at the San Onofrio Capuana Conservatory, and became secondo maestro at the Pietà dei Turchini Conservatory in 1754. He mainly composed operas buffas and serias. 


Agosti, Guido

Italian (Forlì, August 11, 1901 — Milan, June 2, 1989)

Guido Agosti was a pianist and teacher. He studied with Ferruccio Busoni, Bruno Mugellini and Filippo Ivaldi. He also studied Literature at the Bologna University. Due to stage nerves, he focused on teaching and held posts at the Venice Conservatory, Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome, Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Weimar and Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Among his notable students were Leslie Howard, Martin Jones, Maria Tipo and Kun-Woo Paik. Agosti made a few recordings including the music of Debussy, Mussorgsky and Janáček. His transcription for piano of Stravinsky´s The Firebird became very popular. Agosti edited Beethoven´s 32 Variations in C minor WoO 80.


Albanesi, Luigi

Italian (Rome, March 3, 1821 — Naples, 1897)

Luigi Albanesi was a pianist and composer. He was the teacher of Beniamino Cesi. His son Carlo Albanesi (1856 – 1926) was also a pianist and composer who taught at the Royal Academy of Music in London.


Alfano, Franco

Italian (Posillipo, Naples, March 8, 1875 — San Remo, October 27, 1954)

Franco Alfano was a composer and pianist. He studied piano with Alessandro Longo and composition in Leipzig with Jadassohn. Alfano was the director of the Liceo Musicale in Bologna, Conservatory of Turin, Liceo Musicale of Pesaro and professor at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He finished Puccini´s opera Turandot.


Anfossi, Giovanni Maria

Italian (Ancona, August 6, 1864 — Milan, November 16, 1946)

Giovanni Anfossi was a pianist, composer and teacher. He studied piano with Francesco Simonetti and Giuseppe Martucci. He taught at the Collegio Reale in Verona and at the Istituto Bruni-Morandi in Milan. Among his students were Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Mario Delli Ponti. Anfossi composed for piano Ricordanze and Due impresioni, among other works.


Aprea, Tito

Italian (Rome, October 10, 1904 — Rome, 1989)

Tito Aprea was a composer, pianist and musicologist. He studied with Alessandro Longo at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples. He was the director of the Verdi Institute in Tunisia and professor of piano at the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome. In 1959, he published L´arte del pedale del pianoforte. Bruno Aprea, his son, was a conductor.


Argerich, Martha

Argentine-Swiss (Buenos Aires, June 5, 1941)

Martha Argerich is a pianist. Her paternal ancestors were Catalonian, and her maternal grandparents were Jewish who emigrated from the Russian Empire. Argerich made her début at the age of eight in Buenos Aires performing Mozart´s D minor Concerto KV 266, Beethoven´s First Piano Concerto and Bach´s French Suite no. 5. In 1957, at the age of 16, she won both the Busoni and Geneva competitions and, in 1965, she won first prize in the Chopin competition in Warsaw. When Argerich was 19, she made a recording for Deutsche Grammophone containing Prokofiev´s Toccata and Liszt´s Sixth Hungarian Rhapsody. At the peak of her performing concert career, she played over 150 concerts a year. Gradually, she started avoiding solo piano recitals and began appearing more frequently in chamber music with Nelson Freire, Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky and others, as well as with orchestra. Argerich has supported young musicians over the years including Sergio Tiempo, Gabrielle Baldocci and Gabriela Montero. She is the president of the International Piano Academy Lake Como. She has made numerous recordings. Argerich married three times: to Chinese composer conductor Robert Chen, to Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit, and to pianist Stephen Kovacevich. One of her daughters, Stéphanie, made the film Bloody Daughter, a documentary on her mother. Martha Argerich is a cancer survivor.


Bacalov, Luis Enríquez

Argentine-Italian (Buenos Aires, August 30, 1933 — Rome, November 15, 2017)

Luis Bacalov was a film composer born into a Bulgarian-Jewish family. He studied piano and music with Enrique Barenboim and Berta Sujovolsky. He was nominated twice for the Oscars and won an Academy Award por Best Original Score in 1996 for Il Postino. Other film scores are Django, Mister Scarface and Fellini´s City of Women.


Báccara, Luisa

Italian (Venice, 1894 — January 21, 1985)

Luisa Báccara was a pianist. She studied at the Milan Conservatory and in Vienna. Among her teachers were Giovanni Anfosi and Leopold Godowsky. She had a relationship with the novelist, poet and politician Gabriele D´Annunzio.


Ballista, Antonio

Italian (Milan, March 30, 1936)

Antonio Ballista is a pianist. He studied with Enzo Calaceite and Antonio Beltrami at the Milan Conservatory. He formed a piano duo with Bruno Canino for which such composers as Berio, Ligeti and Stockhausen wrote compositions. Ballista recorded Gioachino Rossini´s piano works.


Barenboim, Daniel

Argentinean-Israeli-Palestinian-Spanish (Buenos Aires, November 15, 1942)

Daniel Barenboim is a pianist and conductor. His main piano teachers were his parents, Enrique Barenboim and Aida Schuster, both professional pianists. He studied at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and with Nadia Boulanger. Barenboim was principal conductor of the Orchestre de Paris, Chicago Symphony, La Scala of Milan, Berlin Staatsoper and Staatskapelle Berlin. Barenboim and Edward Said founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in 1999. He produced numerous orchestral, opera, chamber music and piano recordings, including the complete Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert sonatas. He is a polyglot and was awarded such prestigious awards as the Príncipe de Asturias Concord Award, Order of the British Empire. Barenboim is the recipient of seven Grammy awards. He married cellist Jacqueline Du Pré in 1967, who died in 1987. Subsequently, he married Elena Bashkirova, Dmitri Bashkirov´s daughter, in 1988.  


Baroni, Antonio

Italian (Rome, 1738 — Rome, December 21, 1792)

A relative of Clementi, whom he also taught, he studied in Bologna under Martini and in Naples under Abos and Fago. He produced operas in Venice, Prague, Stuttgart and Rome. Baroni was appointed Kapellmeister in Stuttgart in 1771 and maestro di capella at Saint Peter in Rome in 1777.


Bordoni, Paolo

Italian (Bergamo, July 22, 1942)

Paolo Bordoni was a pianist. He studied with Gobbi Belcredi in Rome and with Magda Tagliaferro in Paris. He recorded the complete waltzes of Franz Schubert. Bordoni teaches at the Accademia Musicale Pescarese.


Brugnoli, Attilio

Italian (Rome, October 7, 1880 — Bolzano, July 10, 1937)

Attilio Brugnoli was a pianist, teacher and composer. He studied in Naples with Filippo Rossomandi. He concertized both as soloist and with the Waldemar Mayer Quartet. Brugnoli taught at the Parma and Firenza conservatories and succeeded Alfredo Casella as professor of piano at the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome. He published Dinamica pianistica. Trattato sull'insegnamento razionale del pianoforte e sulla motilità muscolare ne' suoi aspetti psico-fisiologici in 1926, and La musica pianística italiana dalle origini al 1900. He composed a few piano pieces including the Piano Concerto op. 2 and Scene napolitana per pianoforte, op. 7.


Busoni, Ferruccio

Italian (Empoli, Tuscany, April 1, 1866 — Berlin, July 27, 1924)

Born in the region of Tuscany, his family moved to Trieste, in the Northern part of the country, when he was only a few months old and, as a result, he was influenced by a Germanic atmosphere. His father, who gave him his first piano instruction focused on Bach, was a virtuoso clarinet player, and his Austrian-born mother was a pianist. Although he was baptized Catholic, he was fundamentally an atheist. He entered the Vienna Conservatory at the age of nine but, unhappy with the curriculum of studies, left after only two years. He taught at the Helsinki College of Music, New England Conservatory in the USA and at the Vienna Conservatory, and also in Switzerland and Moscow, where he married Gerda Sjöstrand. He enjoyed giving “historical recitals”, inspired by Anton Rubinstein, such as the six concerts he performed in Berlin in 1911 championing the music of Liszt or the series of eight recitals devoted to the piano literature since Bach. His extensive output includes works of a broad compositional spectrum including the monumental Piano Concerto (with a male chorus finale), Fantasia contrappuntistica, Suite Campestre, 24 Preludi, Sonata in F, Sonatina Seconda and the Toccata. The letters “BV” or “KiV” following his compositions refer to Jürgen Kindermann´s catalogue. He mastered an extensive repertory and produced a number of Bach transcriptions such as the organ preludes and the Chaconne and published an annotated edition of the Well-tempered clavier and of Liszt´s works for the Franz-Liszt-Stiftung. He made several 78-rpm and piano-roll recordings including Liszt´s Feux follets and Réminiscences de Don Juan.

[See the Ferruccio Busoni Tradition]


Calace, Enzo

Italian (Naples, December 2, 1890 — August 10, 1961)

Enzo Calace was a pianist and teacher. He studied with Florestano Rossomandi. Among his students were Bruno Canino, Claudio Abbado and Antonio Ballista.


Canino, Bruno

Italian (Naples, December 30, 1935)

Bruno Canino is a pianist and composer. He studied with Enzo Calace at the Milan Conservatory. He was awarded at the Bolzano and Darmstadt piano competitions. He premiered works by Berio, Kagel and Xenakis, among others. Since 1953, he appears on stage with pianist Antonio Ballista, and is a member of Tio di Milano. Canino also collaborates with András Schiff, Saschko Gawriloff and Siegfried Palm. In 1969, he was appointed professor at the Milan Conservatory. Labirinto op. 2 and Impromptu op. 2 are some of his few piano works.


Cesi, Beniamino

Italian (Naples, November 6, 1845 — January 19, 1907)

Beniamino Cesi was a pianist and teacher and a key figure in establishing the Neapolitan piano school. He took his first piano lessons from his father and then studied with Luigi Albanesi and Sigismond Thalberg. He taught at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples and at the Conservatory of Parma and, between 1885 and 1891, he was professor of piano at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, upon Anton Rubinstein´s invitation. Cesi wrote an influential piano method, Metodo per pianoforte. Among his eminent pupils were Giuseppe Martucci, Alessandro Longo, Michele Esposito and Leopoldo Mugnone. His two sons, Napoleone and Sigismondo, were also pianists and composers.

[See the Beniamino Cesi Tradition]


Cesi, Napoleone

Italian (Naples, August 24, 1867 — Naples, September 20, 1961)

Napoleone Cesi was a pianist and composer. He studied with his father, Beniamino Cesi. He started to concertize at the age of 10 and introduced his own works in recitals. In 1892 he won, ex aequo with Busoni, the Anton Rubinstein piano competition. He taught Mario Ceccarelli, Eugenio Coppola and Franz Carella, among others. He composed Konzertstück for piano and orchestra.


Cesi, Sigismondo

Italian (Naples, May 24, 1869 — Naples, September 1, 1936)

Sigismondo Cesi was a pianist and composer. He studied with his father, Beniamino Cesi, and with Alfonso Viscardi and Alessandro Longo. In 1898, he founded the Secondary Music School of Naples with Ernesto Marciano. He edited Clementi´s Gradus ad Parnassum and a few of his sonatas, and published Appunti di storia e letteratura del pianoforte. Among his pupils were Vincenzo Vitale and Marta de Conciliis.


Ciccolini, Aldo

Italian-French (Naples, August 15, 1925 — Paris, February 1, 2015)

Aldo Ciccolini was a pianist. He studied with Paolo Denza at the Naples Conservatory. In 1949, he won first prize at the Long-Thibaud Competition. In 1947, Ciccolini was appointed professor at the Naples Conservatory and, from 1971 to 1989, he taught at the Paris Conservatoire. Among his students were Artur Pizarro, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Franceso Libetta and Antonio Pompa-Baldi. Ciccolini became a French citizen in 1971.


Clementi, Muzio

Italo-English (Rome, January 23, 1752 — Evesham, Worcester, March 10, 1832)

Popularly known as the “father of the pianoforte”, his influence on subsequent generations of pianists, piano composers, publishing and manufacturing firms is undisputed. Clementi counted among his students such distinguished pianists as Ludwig Berger, Carl Czerny, John Field and Frédéric Kalkbrenner. His pedagogical works Introduction to the Art of Playing the Pianoforte (1801) and Gradus ad Parnassum (1817, 1819, 1826) became of frequent use for pianists all over the world. In his teens, Clementi´s talent drew the attention of an Englishman named Peter Beckford, who in his own words “bought Clementi of his father for seven years”. Clementi spent all that time near Dorset, England, immersed in studying music and practicing the harpsichord. After this period, he moved to London where he became a celebrity as composer, teacher, performer, manufacturer and publisher, and signed a contract with Beethoven to publish a few major works. He is buried at the cloisters of Westminster Abbey in London.

[See the Muzio Clementi Tradition]


Cortot, Alfred Denis

Swiss-French (Nyon, September 26, 1877 — Lausanne, June 15, 1962)

Alfred Cortot was a pianist, conductor and teacher. He studied with Chopin´s pupil Émile Decombes and with Louis Diémer. At the Paris Conservatoire, he won the Premier Prix in 1896. He conducted the Parisian premiere of Wagner´s Götterdämmerung in 1902 and the first French performances of Parsifal, in concert form, Beethoven´s Missa Solemnis and Brahms´s German Requiem. He formed a trio with Jacques Thibaud and Pablo Casals. Cortot made editions of the music of Chopin, Liszt and Schumann for Éditions Durand. Cortot taught at the Paris Conservatoire and founded the École Normale de Musique. In March 1925, Cortot made the world´s first commercial electrical recording of classical music for the Victor Talking Machine Company with Chopin´s Impromptus and Schubert´s Litanei. His first cousin was the composer Edgard Varése.

[See the Alfred Cortot Tradition]


Denza, Paolo

Italian (Naples, February 28, 1893 — Naples, January 6, 1955)

Paolo Denza was a pianist. He studied piano and composition at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples. After enrolling in the Military Academy in Modena for a brief period, in 1921 he moved to Berlin where he became a pupil and friend of Busoni. He concertized in Europe, South America and Japan. After World War II, Denza was appointed professor at the Naples Conservatory and gave regular masterclasses in Barcelona, Geneva and Berlin.


Drenikov, Ivan

Bulgarian (Sofia, December 28, 1945)

Ivan Drenikov was a pianist. He studied with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli since 1968, with Richard Hauser at the Vienna Conservatory, and with Alexis Weissenberg in Paris. Since 2008, he teaches at the Pancho Vladiguerov National Academy of Music in Sofia. He is founder and president of the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Pilgrims Foundation. Drenikov has made numerous recordings.


Fago, Lorenzo 

Italian (Naples, August 13, 1704 — Naples, April 30, 1793)

Lorenzo Fago was a teacher and composer. He was born into a family of Italian musicians, active in Naples. He was secondo maestro and primo maestro at the Conservatorio della Pietà dei Turchini in Naples. His compositions are mostly for the church and cantatas.


Filippone Siniscalchi, Tina

Italian (Rome, February 1903 – Ercolano, September 15, 1926)

Tina Filippone was a pianist. Her mother had studied at the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome and her stepfather with Alessandro Longo. Filippone studied in Naples with Ernesto Marciano. She concertized and mastered a large repertory. She died at the of 23. Her compositions were published by Izzo di Napoli editions.


Finizio, Luigi

Italian (1878 — 1956)

Luigi Finizio was a pianist and teacher. He studied with Florestano Rossomandi. Among his students were Annamaria Pennella and Sergio Fiorentino. He published Quello che ogni pianista deve sapere.


Fiorentino, Sergio

Italian (Naples, December 22, 1927 — August 22, 1998)

Sergio Fiorentino was a pianist. He studied with Luigi Finizio and Paolo Denza at the Naples Conservatory. Later, he attended Carlo Zecchi´s masterclasses in Salzburg. In 1954, he was involved in a plane crash in South America which forced him to curtail his concert appearances. He taught at the Naples Conservatory. Fiorentino made numerous recordings, particularly for APR (Appian Publications & Recordings).


Gelber, Bruno Leonardo

Argentine (Buenos Aires, March 19, 1941)

Bruno Leonardo Gelber is a pianist of Austrian and French-Italian descent. He studied with his mother and with Vincenzo Scaramuzza since very young.  At the age of 7, he was diagnosed with polio which forced him to stay in bed for over a year. During this time, he practiced on a special piano mounted over his bed. A few years after, Gelber won a scholarship and moved to Paris to study with Marguerite Long. He made a number of recordings including Beethoven´s complete piano sonatas.


Godowsky, Leopold

Polish-American (Soshly, near Vilnius, February 13, 1870 — New York, November 21, 1938)

Leopold Godowsky was a pianist, teacher and composer. He studied briefly with Ernst Rudorff in Berlin and was a protégé of Saint-Saëns in Paris. He taught at the New York College of Music, Chicago Conservatory and Gilbert Raynolds Conservatory in Philadelphia. From 1909 to 1914, he succeeded Emil von Sauer and Ferruccio Busoni as director of the piano school of the Akademie der Tonkunst in Vienna. Godowsky concertized extensively in Europe, Asia and America. His compositions for piano include the Java Suite, Moto perpetuo, Sonata in e minor, numerous Bach and Schubert transcriptions, and the 53 Studies on the études of Chopin. In 1930, Godowsky suffered a stroke while recording which partially paralyzed him. Heinrich Neuhaus was one of his most famous students.


Lanza, Francesco

Italian (Naples, 1783 — Naples, 1862)

Son of composer and teacher Giuseppe Lanza, he moved with his father to London at the age of nine, where he met and studied with Clementi. He achieved reputation in London as a pianist and composer. He returned to Naples and taught many generations of pianists at the conservatory and is recognized as the father of the Neapolitan School of piano playing. In 1804, he offered one of the first public piano recitals in Naples. He composed only piano works including two concertos, fantasias on opera tunes, two sonatas and a piano method.

[See the Francesco Lanza Tradition]


Lillo, Giuseppe

Italian (Galatina, Lecce, February 26, 1814 — Naples, February 4, 1863)

Giuseppe Lillo was a popular composer of theatre works in Naples. He received his first musical instruction from his father, the conductor Giosuè Lillo. He studied piano with Francesco Lanza. Lillo co-directed the Saint Carlo school and also taught at the Naples Conservatory. His piano compositions include the Valtz variato op. 3 and Mes loisirs op. 11.


Long, Marguerite

French (Nîmes, November 13, 1874 — Paris, February 13, 1966)

Marguerite Long was a pianist and teacher. She studied with Henri Fissot at the Paris Conservatoire, where she won the Premier Prix in 1891, and also took private lessons with Antonin Marmontel. She premiered Ravel´s Le Tombeau de Couperin and Concerto in G. Between 1906 and 1940, Long taught at the Paris Conservatoire such eminent pianists as Samson François, Annie d´Arco and Jacques Février. In 1941, she founded a music school in Paris and, two years later, established a competition with Jacques Thibaud. She published Au piano avec Claude Debussy, Au piano avec Gabriel Fauré, Le piano and Le petite méthode de piano.

[See the Marguerite Long Tradition]


Longo, Achille

Italian (Melicuccà, February 27, 1832 — Naples, May 11, 1919)

Achille Longo was a pianist and composer. He was the father and teacher of Alessandro Longo and grandfather of the composer Achille Longo Junior. He taught at the Naples Conservatory.


Longo, Alessandro

(Amantea, December 30, 1864 — Naples, November 3, 1945)

Alessandro Longo was a pianist and composer. He studied with his father, Achille Longo and with Beniamino Cesi at the Naples Conservatory. He also studied organ and composition. Alessandro Longo taught at the Naples Conservatory and at the Alfonso Rendano´s private school. He founded the Domenico Scarlatti Society in Naples and edited Scarlatti´s sonatas for keyboard. Among his students were Franco Alfano, Paolo Denza and Tito Aprea. In 1914, Longo founded the journal Arte pianistica. He composed numerous works for different instruments.


Marciano, Ernesto

Italian (1869 — 1930)

Ernesto Marciano was a pianist and teacher. He studied with Beniamino Cesi. In 1898, he and Sigismondo Cesi founded the Liceo Musicale di Napoli.


Martini, Padre Giovanni Battista

Italian (Bologna, April 24, 1706 — Bologna, August 3, 1784)

Padre Martini was one of the most influential and renowned musicians of the 18th century. Ordained a priest in 1729, he taught counterpoint to numerous pupils who became famous composers, including J.C. Bach, Mozart, Grétry and Jommelli. According to historian Charles Burney, Martini gathered a colossal library of approximately 17,000 volumes. He maintained correspondence with such prominent figures as Agricola, Locatelli, Marpurg, Metastasio, Quantz and Rameau. Martini composed a number of sonatas and concertos for the keyboard, among other works.


Martucci, Giuseppe

Italian (Capua, January 6, 1856 — Naples, June 1, 1909)

Giuseppe Martucci was a pianist, composer and conductor. He firstly studied with his father and then with Beniamino Cesi at the Naples Conservatory (named at the time Reale Collegio). Since an early age, he concertized in Italy and Europe and was admired by Liszt. He directed and taught at the Naples Conservatory. Martucci composed numerous works for the piano including two concertos, capriccios, Mazurka di concerto, Tarantella, Studio di concerto and sonatas. His son Paolo became a pianist and teacher who lived in the U.S. since 1911.  


Michelangeli, Arturo Benedetti

Italian (Brescia, January 5, 1920 — Lugano, June 12, 1995)

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli was a pianist. He studied with Giovanni Anfossi at the Milan Conservatory. After a short period studying medicine, in 1939 he won first prize at the International Piano Competition in Geneva. During World War II, he served in the Italian air force. He founded and taught at the International Pianists´ Academy in Brescia, Arezzo, Bolzano and Bologna. He also taught at the Villa Schifanoia near Florence. In 1988, he suffered a heart attack while playing a concert in Bordeaux. Michelangeli made numerous recordings especially for EMI.


Mozzati, Alberto

Italian (Zerboló, 1917 — Milan, 1982)

Alberto Mozzati was a pianist. He studied with Shiepatti at the Milan Conservatory. Among his students were Mario Delli Ponti and Giacomo Manzoni. In 1960, he started teaching in Sitges, Spain.  


Mugellini, Bruno

Italian (Potenza Picena, December 24, 1871 — Bolonia, January 15, 1912)

Bruno Mugellini was a pianist, composer and teacher. He studied with Gustavo Tofano and Giuseppe Martucci in Bologna. He taught at the Liceo Musicale di Bologna from 1898 until 1911. He was a founding member of the Quintetto Mugellini. Guido Agosti was one of his most important pupils. Mugellini published a few piano pieces and pedagogical traits such as Method of technical piano exercises and New fundamental systems for the piano technique.


Palumbo, Constantino

Italian (Torre Annunziata, November 30, 1843 — Naples, January 16, 1928)

Constantino Palumbo was a pianist and composer. He performed at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867 where he met Rossini, Henri Herz and Francis Planté. He appeared in concert with Sigismond Thalberg in Naples, where Paulmbo was appointed professor of piano at the Conservatory in 1873. He had an important influence on several generations of young pianists. As a composer, he wrote operas and piano works including the Toccata op. 21, Sonata op. 24, Suite Romantica and a collection of nocturnes, fantasies, and other pieces.


Parisi, Tita

Italian (1907 — 1989)

Tita Parisi was a pianist and teacher. She studied with Florestano Rossomandi and Luigi Finizio.


Pennella, Annamaria

Italian (Naples)

Annamaria Pennella is a pianist and teacher. She studied with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Marguerite Long. She is a professor at the Naples Conservatory and offers masterclasses in the United States, France, Italy and Spain.


Pinsuti, Ciro 

Italian (Sinalunga, May 9, 1829 — Florence, March 10, 1888)

Ciro Pinsuti was a composer, pianist and singing teacher. He studied composition with Rossini in Bologna and taught piano at the Liceo Musicale. In 1848, he moved to London where he became a renowned accompanist and vocal coach and taught such opera singers as Grissi and Ronconi. Pinsuti also taught at the Royal Academy of Music. He wrote a few piano works and over 250 many songs, which became widely popular.


Ponti, Mario Delli

Italian (Milan, January 5, 1931 — August 9, 2010)

Mario Delli Ponti was a pianist. He studied with Giovanni Anfossi, Alberto Mozzati, Marguerite Long and Ilonka Deckers. At the age of 25, he was invited by Arturo Toscanini to perform in New York. He concertized around the world. In 1957, he won the Bach Medal in London and Pau Casals invited him to perform in Puerto Rico.


Rossomandi, Florestano

Italian (Ganado, 1857 — Naples, 1933)

Florestano Rossomandi was a pianist and composer. He studied with Beniamino Cesi at the Naples Conservatory. He published Guida per lo studio tecnico del pianoforte in eight volumes and the Antologia didattica. At the Paris Exhibition in 1909, he was awarded the Gold Medal. Among his students were Vincenzo Vitale, Luigi Finizio and Attilio Brugnoli.


Ruso, Michelangelo

Italian (1839 — 1892)

Michelangelo Ruso was a pianist. He studied with Francesco Lanza. Among his students was Beniamino Cesi.


Ruta, Gilda

Italian (Naples, October 13, 1856 — New York, October 27, 1932)

Pianist, composer and singer, she enjoyed a successful concert career as an exponent of the Neapolitan school of pianism. She lived and taught in New York. Her compositions include a Piano Concerto, Allegro Appassionato and some chamber music works. Her father was Michele Ruta, director of the Naples Conservatory, and her mother was the English singer Emilia Sutton.


Ruta, Michele

Italian (Caserta, February 7, 1816 — Naples, 24 January 1896)

Composer, pianist and director of the Naples Conservatory. He composed operas, among other works, and pedagogical works. He was active as a writer and music critic and founder the journal La musica in 1855. He married the English singer Emilia Sutton. His daughter was the pianist Gilda Ruta.


Sala Gallo, Rina

Italian (1898 — 1980)

Rina Sala Gallo was a pianist. She studied with Giovanni Anfossi at the Milan Conservatory. She founded a piano school in Monza. In 1947, Sala Gallo along with Michelangeli, Tagliapietra, Vidusso and Mozzati, founded the Monza International Piano Competition which, since 1970, bears her name.


Scaramuzza, Vincenzo

Italian (Crotone, June 19, 1885 — Buenos Aires, March 24, 1968)

Vincenzo Scaramuzza was a pianist and teacher. He took his first piano lessons from his father Francesco Scaramuzza, a reputed piano teacher. After obtaining a scholarship, he went on to study at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples with Florestano Rossomandi, Alessandro Longo and Beniamino Cesi. Due to the difficulty of securing a job position in Italy, Scaramuzza moved to Argentine in 1907 and, in 1912, founded the Scaramuzza Academy of Music. Since 1923, he concentrated on teaching and had numerous notable students such as Martha Argerich, Enrique Barenboim, Bruno Leonardo Gelber, Carmen Piazini, Daniel Levy and Faustro Zadra. Another student, Maria Rosa Oubiña de Castro, published Enseñanzas de un gran maestro in 1973, a book which compiles writing left by the Italian maestro after his death. Scaramuzza married Sara Bagnati, one of his pupils.

[See the Vincenzo Scaramuzza Tradition]


Simonetti, Francesco

Italian (1842 — 1904)

Francesco Simonetti was a pianist and teacher. He studied with Francesco Lanza and was the teacher of Giovanni Maria Anfossi.


Spagnolo, Paolo

Italian (Naples, June 22, 1930 — Naples, May 2, 2012)

Paolo Spagnolo was a pianist. At the age of 7, he toured in the United States and performed a recital with Rachmaninov in the audience. He studied with Paolo Denza at the Naples Conservatory and with Michelangeli in Brescia. At 17, he won the Geneva Competition. From the 1970s, Spagnolo concentrated on teaching at the Naples Conservatory. He made numerous recordings for Decca. He published Pianosophia: An artistic technique.


Thalberg, Sigismond

German or Austrian (Pâquis, near Geneva, January 8, 1812 — Posillipo, near Naples, April 27, 1871)

Sigismond Thalberg was a pianist and composer. He was, next to Franz Liszt, the greatest virtuoso of the mid-nineteenth century in Europe. He played almost exclusively his own compositions, which were mainly fantasias based on opera themes by Rossini, Meyerbeer, Donizetti and Verdi. Although he initially went to Vienna to study for diplomatic service, he became a touring and successful pianist, travelling all over Europe, Brazil, Havana and the United States, where he lived and taught for a few years. His “three-hand effect” technique became very popular. His didactic work L´art du chant appliqué au piano reveals Thalberg´s ability to combine the brilliance of the execution with his preoccupation with imbuing the bel canto into his playing. He married the daughter of Luigi Lablache, an opera singer. He spent the last few years of his life in a villa in Italy as a viticulturist. 

[See the Sigismond Thalberg Tradition]


Toffano, Gustavo

Italian (Naples, December 22, 1844 — Bolonia, June 30, 1899)

Gustavo Tofano was a pianist and composer. He studied with Golinelli and Lillo. In 1872, he was appointed professor at the Liceo Musicale di Bolonia.


Vitale, Vincenzo

Italian (Naples, December 13, 1908 — Naples, July 21, 1984)

Vincenzo Vitale was a pianist and teacher. He studied with Attilio Brugnoli and Florestano Rossomandi in Naples and with Alfred Cortot at the École Normale de Musique in Paris. He taught at the Udine, Palermo, Rome and Naples conservatories in Italy and at the Indiana University in the United States. In 1944, Vitale founded the Neapolitan Chamber Orchestra. Among his students were Michelle Campanella, Bruno Canino and Laura De Fusco. Vitale published pedagogical books including Pianoforte. Martelletti e smorzatori and Il pianoforte a Napoli nell´Ottocento.

[See the Vincenzo Vitale Tradition]


© 2021, by Daniel Pereira